Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Tristate summary

Chiquita deal completed

Staff reports

Chiquita Brands International Inc. said Monday it has completed the sale of its banana farms and ports in Colombia to a holding company of C.I. Banacol SA.

The deal includes cash, notes and assumed pension liabilities and is valued at $51.5 million. Chiquita officials have said the deal will not affect a Justice Department investigation of payments it made to Colombian rebel groups to protect its employees. Chiquita's stock closed Monday at $20.50, up 23 cents.

Anthem-WellPoint merger approved

Shareholders of Anthem Inc. of Indianapolis and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. of Thousand Oaks, Calif., approved the companies' proposed $16.5 billion merger Monday, moving one step closer to creating the nation's largest health management organization. The deal, which has also been approved by 10 states, is still being reviewed by California regulators. Critics have said the merger is tailored to provide rich compensation to executives who are leaving and have little stake in the new company's performance. Multi-Color Corp. reduces forecast

Cincinnati label and packaging supplier Multi-Color Corp. reduced earnings and revenue outlook for its fiscal first quarter. For the three months ending Wednesday, Multi-Color said it expects earnings of 13 to 16 cents a share, down from 25 cents a share a year ago. Revenues are expected to be slightly below the $29.1 million recorded in the June 2003 quarter. The causes, the company cited, include a delay in orders from a major customer, problems integrating operations at its Scottsburg, Ind., plant, and startup costs connected with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Multi-Color's shares closed Monday at $14.09, down 14 cents.

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Business digest